Birding Spots

Kabeljous Lagoon and Nature Reserve Birding


The Kabeljous Nature Reserve and Lagoon has recently been up-graded by a local environmental group. Volunteers have cleared paths and the alien vegetation has been removed, so birding here is a real pleasure with access to bush birds as well as to water birds.

The Nature reserve itself lies on the Port Elizabeth side of the bridge across the Kabeljous River on the old R102 road from Port Elizabeth heading towards Cape Town. A small parking area on the seaward side of the road is marked, from which paths leads through the bush towards the river on your right or to the sea straight ahead. Here you will pass through Renosterbos and see aloes and plants similar to Valley Bushveld species,   so there are good bush birds as well as water birds along the river and lagoon.

Western Osprey - Barry Kurten

The reserve is home to a pair of African Fish Eagle that breeds here and can often be seen perched on the Euphorbias that overlook the lagoon. Western Osprey, African Marsh-Harrier, Kestrels, Kites, Buzzards and other raptors are frequently seen over the reserve and it is a favourite haunt of Pied Kingfisher, Water Thick-knee, and Grey Heron. Cormorants and darters can be seen actively fishing, or drying their wings in the trees above the river. Follow the path, which will eventually lead to the shores of the lagoon and around it to some ponds on the landward side of the dunes. Here you may see Pied Avocet, Black-winged Stilt and other many other waders, especially in summer when the migrants are present.

Water Thick-knee - Matthijs Ravensberg


Pied Avocet - Corné Erasmus

After exploring the reserve side of the lagoon, drive across the bridge, and turn left towards Jeffreys Bay, hugging the lagoon. Turn left again into Kabeljous Road, which leads down to a grassy parking area on the edge of the water where you can park and observe birds from the comfort of your car if you are not very mobile. This is a prime viewing spot for flamingoes and ducks when present, as well as the summer terns and waders. The number of birds is dependent on the rain that has fallen and the level of the water in the lagoon. African Oystercatchers are always present on the beach side of the lagoon.


View the complete bird list here.

Through the club's monthly e-newsletters and bi-annual magazine, the Bee-Eater, we aim to stimulate continued interest in birds and their habitats.